From here on out we will no longer be focussing on micro-business ideas that can be started with as little capital as possible we will instead be changing our focus to actual business opportunities like what we would encounter day-to-day. So we will no longer be looking at grassroots or entry-level businesses exclusively (and thus very little of the content going forward will be focussed on this and not aimed at first-time entrepreneurs). I would suggest first-time entrepreneurs check out our contents page as it will be kept online for now (although some will be deleted).
I have come to the conclusion that entrepreneurship itself is not the answer to South Africa’s problems and that there will be no economic “miracle” or event that will lift the masses out of poverty, instead, it is up to the individual and their self-sufficiency that will lead to their individual success. But how did I come to this conclusion?
How it all started
This project was started in response to two articles I read:
SA needs a national entrepreneurial revolution by Max du Preez [PDF] and
South Africa needs a revolution of usefulness by Mandy de Waal [PDF]
Both are saved as PDFs as they are currently behind a paywall (full credit to and with my apologies to Moneyweb).
Max du Preez had argued that entrepreneurship was the solution to South Africa’s problems (to solve unemployment and the reasons that people turn to crime).
Mandy de Waal had then counter-argued that South Africa’s education system was too poor and the structural problems too immense for people to gain the knowledge to start a successful business.
I had agreed with Max du Preez. I thought that if we just supplied better information and changed suppliers thinking to be better B2B suppliers, more small businesses friendly it will make a difference. I thought as I had a second-class education under the previous dispensation and I was able to earn a living relatively easily (despite never being formally employed outside of companies that I started) that many would be able to do the same considering that all get equal education now.
But it turns out that Mandy de Waal knows more about our current education system than I do, overall I believe it is worse than the second-class education we got on the Cape Flats under apartheid (some say it is even worse than Bantu education). Mandy de Waal is 100% right our education system is too poor and needs to be fixed first (unlikely under the ANC) before any economic miracle can take place. The problem is that most of the people that leave the current education system require so much hand-holding it is far beyond the capabilities of the private sector, the resources required to bring most people “up to speed” to be entrepreneurs is outside the abilities of private companies. It is a government matter plain and simple. Because training is not enough if you are not mentally equipped. The whole system requires an overhaul.
However, I disagree with Mandy de Waal that the solution lay with George Soros sponsored NGO’s like Equal Education. Education is a state mandate and should be performed by the government for the betterment of the country and its society and not by private individuals with narrow agendas. That being said If the majority that votes don’t vote out the current government that means that they accept the status quo and they are OK with things. Who am I to interfere with a democratic process?